Growth Formula

What makes you look older? Your hair, or your knees?

I’m well overdue for a haircut. So overdue, in fact, that I’ve had to dig through Fashion Week photos from April to find a photo where my hair isn’t pulled back, or wet, in a lame attempt to disguise this mismanaged mane – and not even in a windswept Parisian way. So overdue, that I have split ends for the first time in a decade. So overdue, that I am finally booked in for Wednesday with Paloma to sort this mess out.

Now, while I know damn well that I will 100% end up asking for, “Just blunt, and to the collarbone, you know?”, I still spend the 24 hours in the lead-up frantically texting Alex, girlfriends, and Google, in search of some dramatic signature hair epiphany. To this day, my hair remains virginally unbleached or coloured, and since my 19th birthday, choppy at the shoulder – with just one tentative foray into a real bob, which was gladly grown out over a European Summer and only to be revisited when I’m 30, or when I finally bleach the lot white in frustration.

Meanwhile, my affinity to visible knees is now virtually nil (save the odd sherbert Singapore situation, or shredded Summer denim). Where there are dresses involved, there are always pants or boots to the rescue. Where the climate is intolerably steamy, well that’s just too bad. Flirty hemlines dancing above Gremlin-faced knees seem so wrongly juxtaposed that even a bellybutton might be more attractive (but again – how odd are bellybuttons?).

And so is born the burning life question: what’s in a hairline and a hemline to speak for your age?

Does first-impression maturity come with straight, severe locks that mean serious boardroom business?* Does a special kind of sex appeal come with the imagination beyond exposed ankles, more than exposed butt cheeks? Is this outfit-hairstyle combination just a total Grandma situation to be reserved for the impossible Karlie Klosses of the world, in all their 8 feet of stature?

To the issue of our hair, I am certainly of the opinion that shorter, less girly lengths seem more professional and composed – and, on that, I know there are boundless cans of radical feminist worms to be opened, but for real, I just molt like a bear if I ever let my ends grow past my shoulders. More than once, I’ve contemplated a Michelle Williams pixie cut with a back story of career accomplishment and self-confidence, but again – something for when I’m actually accomplished and self-confident at the grand age of 30.

Knees, on the other hand, like pineapple ponytails, are cute in fledgling tween years, and a downhill spiral from there on out. There are surely millions to be made in knee-foundation, knee-highlighter and knee-concealer. Anyone? Anyone? Until then, mine will be safely hibernating, until the necessities of bikini weather strike again.

  • Molly

    I always love your words and your style. Keep going, girl :)

  • Jenna Isaacman

    Love your Blog Margaret, and agree always so spot on with words and style! Love your style x J

  • I’ve never really given much thought to knees but I’ve always wondered if hair length affects how a person is perceived professionally. I want to chop it all off but I can’t let go of my youth. Your post also just made me realise that I’m probably malting because of the immense weight of my hair. Thanks for shedding light on the matter. I’ve always wanted to know why I find my hair on just about everything & everyone. By the way, that vest is sweet.

    The Fashann Monster

  • Tracy
  • Knee foundation is the best idea!!! This needs to happen! I hate my knees, they’re so knobbly its a bit scary at times. As for hair, I recently chopped a lot off mine, and now more need to come off too! Such a great post, a pleasure to read as always! P.S I love your hair!!

    Shot From The Street | Fashion Blog

  • Angelique Ford

    Knee concealer is the best idea but while knees are weird (my friend has a fear of them and cannot touch them) belly buttons are worse I eve have a phobia of them (but only when they are being touched). Great post as always!

  • Laura Lama F.

    You’re amazing! I love this outfit


  • Fancyicon

    I discover your blog few minutes ago and im so amazed!! You have greeat style and look and i can watch your outfits 24/h!!! So in love!!! :)

  • Joe Beverly

    give yourself a buzz cut, let it grow into a pixie; as soon as it hits your shoulders, start over again . . .

  • Michele LoBosco

    Such a fun post…! I ALWAYS wait to long to get a haircut…

  • ee_by_cc

    LOL – really cute post. Love that vest, admire the unexpected way you paired it with that dress.

  • monkeyshines
  • Avanti

    You’re hair always looks gorgeous even when you grow it out a little.
    I must try the salon you go to.


  • Your outfit is soo perfect here! Love it to bits. Also, I quite like short hair on you but I do miss the longer length as well LOL but for me, I think you should definitely stick to short hair. It really suits you! :)

  • Girl LOL! This outfit: I simply adore it. The mix of pattern, structure and texture is so fun.

  • This outfit is stunning and I love your passage: ‘what’s in a hairline and a hemline to speak for your age?’ NAILED IT!


  • My mother’s always advised that I revel in the days in which I can wear long hair as it becomes harder to pull off as you age. Never mentioned anything about the knees, though. :/

    The Garment Rag

  • Hair. Defintely the hair. And what are you talking about!! You looked gorgeous through all your fashion week photos! :D

  • Nika

    I can’t seem to get what the big deal about knees is, I probably dislike elbows more if I had to pick. I loove your hair and would never say it’s been so long since you switched your long do for it – probably because it still looks so cool and fresh! I think though you can pull anything off as long as it’s not above chin lenght. But bleaching sucks, it’s so much work and I don’t think it’d look better than your natural, shiny hair – natural over colored aany day. Except if your natural color was mouse greyish blonde like mine is and even that is, I noticed, in now.
    Another great post from you Margaret!

  • Head to toe perfection.


  • Lisa Ritchie Purkey

    I am fifty and still have great knees… Aging takes a bigger toll on the face , stomach and arms.

  • Lisa Ritchie Purkey

    Fantastic look by the way!!

  • ediot

    you write so well and interesting- and I love your outfit

  • Alexlouiegreen

    I would love to you write about your opinion or thoughts on the Ethical Fashion Initiative that brands such as Sass and Bide and Stella McCartney are a part of. What do you think the responsibility of high end fashion designers are to create environmentally conscious and ethical designs?

  • Aw darling this is so good. I agree with your words and I couldn’t agree more. I just wanna quote this entire entry!

  • Love love the vest:)

  • The outfit looks great on you!!


  • Francesca

    In love with this outfit. Everything is so perfectly combined! xoxo

  • Ahka Vintage
  • Anna

    I don’t even know what more I like the dress or maybe a jacket …? I love this look so much <3



  • Marie Liv

    Your style towards fashion is brilliant! I would have never thought to mix that dress with that vest!

    LivRiot on Bloglovin’ & I’ll follow back :)

  • Lana Ober

    Everything about this outfit is awesome! What a great job blending contrasting colors and lines. Love!

    xo Lana

  • comtesse sofia

    I love your entire look, totally amazing!!
    Don’t hesitate to come visit my blog, it’s about accessories, really inspiring too!!
    See you soon,
    Comtesse Sofia

  • I wish I had virgin hair like you!
    length is also a problem for me, as I find myself standing in the bathroom
    with a pair of scissors contemplating whether I should cut the hair, or grow
    out the shoulder lengthed mop into something longer more than 2 times a week.

    take care!

  • alexandra shulika

    You have an amazing style! Love the whole outfit!

  • Cynthia Nguyen

    Great outfit! I’ve been following you on instagram for a while but haven’t actually dropped by your blog platform. Amazing photos and love how Shini helped with the site revamp! x


  • KE

    I have contemplated this many, many times. It’s the knee that gives it away. Mine are 39 and horrendous. I always thought a knee cap wrinkle was a sign of an under-exercised leg that hadn’t performed enough squats. It isn’t. Sorry Margaret. I can testify. My time squatting has been wasted. Having had a bit of scroll though – your knees look pretty darn OK and I reckon they have a good 15 years in them before you get anywhere near the top-o’ the-patella wrinkle-frown. In fact, I suspect you will avoid it completely…. Lovely blog. You can punctuate girl! Smiling as a I read.


Margaret Zhang is a Chinese-Australian photographer, director, stylist and writer based in New York. Since her digital beginnings in the fashion industry in 2009, Margaret has worked with global brands including Chanel, UNIQLO, Swarovski, YEEZY, Clinique, Lexus, Dior, Gucci, Matches and Louis Vuitton in a wide range of capacities both in front of and behind the camera, while completing her Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Laws at The University of Sydney.
Though regularly featured in print and digital media as a model and personality alike, Margaret’s pho tography, styling, and creative direction has been employed by the likes of Vogue, L’Officiel, Harper’s BAZAAR, NYLON, Marie Claire, Buro24/7, and ELLE internationally. She has been listed in Forbes Asia’s 30Under30 and TimeOut’s 40Under40 lists, and her work has been recognised as shaping the international fashion industry by the Business of Fashion BoF500 Index, and ELLE Magazine’s Best Digital Influencer of The Year Award.




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